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Pause for Thought in the Classroom: Needing Each Other

We all need a helping hand sometimes

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider that there are often many people who are willing to help us.

Preparation and materials


  1. Explain that you are going to show a short animation called ‘Lighthouse’. Encourage the children to think about the characters in the video as they watch.

    Show the YouTube video ‘Lighthouse’.

  2. Ask the following questions.

    - What was the lighthouse keeper like at the beginning of the video? (Answers may include adjectives such as hardworking, organized and critical.)
    - How did the villagers seem at the beginning of the video? (Answers may include words such as a community, drinking together and laughter.)

  3. Ask the children whether they think that the lighthouse keeper and the villagers were friends at the beginning of the video.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Ask the following questions, listening to responses after each question.

    - What problem did the lighthouse keeper face?
    - Do you think it would be difficult for the lighthouse keeper to ask for help? Why do you think that?
    - Do you think that the lighthouse keeper was surprised when he realized that the villagers were already on their way to help?
    - Do you think that this situation would make a difference to how the lighthouse keeper and the villagers got along in the future?

Time for reflection

Explain that as we grow up, we learn to become increasingly independent. However, there are still times when we need the help of others.

Show the YouTube video ‘How crazy ants carry heavy loads’.

Point out that the ants seem to understand that to achieve their goal, they need one another. Sometimes, a task can seem too big for us on our own, but with help from others, we can achieve far greater things!

Explain that to receive help, we often need to ask for it. This means admitting that we can’t do something by ourselves. The lighthouse keeper was surprised that the people he had looked down on and criticized were the ones who were ready and eager to help him.

In Matthew 7.12, we see Jesus sitting on a hillside, teaching his new disciples the basics of living God’s way. He says to them, ‘Do to others what you would have others do to you.’

Ask the children what they think this means.

Listen to a range of responses.

Read out the following statements, allowing time for the children to think about them as you read. You may wish to discuss each statement after you have read it out.

- If you want help, learn to help others.
If you want to be shown kindness, learn to be kind.
If you want to be accepted, accept other people.
If you want to be encouraged, encourage those around you.

Dear God,
Thank you for people who are there to help us.
Please help us never to feel like we have to manage all alone.
Please help us always to ask for help when we need it.
Please help us to be aware of the needs of others
And to offer help in whatever form that may take.


‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from the film Toy Story, available at: (2.04 minutes long)

Extension activities

  1. Try making a model lighthouse and use it to make up your own story about spreading light to those around us.

    If you want to make a giant lighthouse in the classroom and use it as the focal point for a display, instructions are available at: (6.51 minutes long)
Publication date: December 2020   (Vol.22 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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